Transforming communities through theological education with Gerardo Corpeño

Gerardo Corpeño grew up in El Salvador and came to Christ at the age of 18. Since then Gerardo has studied and worked hard to continue serving the Lord.

Studies and ministry work 

Shortly after coming to Christ, Gerardo began to get involved in ministry work with the support of his local pastor. He went on to attend Systematic and Latin America Theology at Central America Theological Seminary (SETECA), an evangelical seminary in Guatemala where he graduated with a Bachelor in Theology and also married his wife Deborah. 

“Then we served for two years in my home country, El Salvador, working as youth pastors,” he shares. “After that, we went to Oaxaca, Mexico to pastor a church. It was particularly during the pastoral experience in Oaxaca, where I was confronted with the need to train church leaders.”

It was from this experience that the Church’s Biblical Institute was created. 

“Although the Biblical Institute was created for equipping leaders for our church, some leaders and pastors from other churches joined the Institute. God used the experience of teaching in the Institute to confer my passion for teaching the Bible,” Gerardo said.  

Becoming a Langham Scholar

Gerardo says his experience teaching the Bible and his vision for ministry evolved into a vision and passion for teaching and equipping leaders. In 2008, Gerardo headed back to SETECA in Guatemala and undertook his master’s degree. During this time, he also began work as a professor of theology at SETECA. 

“After several years of teaching, in 2017 God opened the door for me to pursue doctoral studies in theology at Wheaton College in the USA,” Gerardo shares. 

It was during this time that Gerardo became a Langham Scholar and was supported by Langham to continue with his studies. 

“Thanks to the invitation of the PhD program at Wheaton and the support of organisations like Langham that provided me a scholarship, I was able to move to Illinois with my family to study at Wheaton.”

Gerardo completed his PhD and graduated in May 2023. His thesis title is “No Liberation without Reconciliation.” In it Gerardo attempts to put together in conversation liberation and reconciliation, asking what a theology of reconciliation based on Jesus’ cross and developed from the victims’ perspective looks like. He is now working full-time as a Professor of Theology at SETECA as well as preaching and teaching in his local church in Guatemala.

In February 2023, the director of Langham Scholars Riad Kassis, and Langham Scholar Care Coordinator Josue Fernandez visited Guatemala and spent some time with Gerardo and his family. Riad and Josue commented that Gerardo’s involvement with SETECA is crucial; with his doctoral degree he is bringing more to a school that is an important centre in the region.

Gerardo shares that all his time of preaching, teaching and studying had helped him to conclude “that we not only need to equip leaders with tools for ministry, but that we also need to help them to think theologically about their church practices. We need to help pastors and church leaders have a solid, Biblical and theological foundation to face the cultural and social challenges of our time, but we need to do this together”.

Pray for Gerardo as he continues to preach and teach God’s word both in his church and at SETECA.

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